September 7, 2020|Vinyl Community Discussion
Why Vinyl Records? Why Not Stream?
A word from our owner...
I often get the question from family, friends, and trolls, "Why vinyl?" "Streaming is so much cheaper and easier," "CDs sound better," and "Vinyl is too much work!"
I have been contemplating my response, and I think I've come up with an answer that has satisfied me. However, I haven't been able to factor it into one sentence or phrase. So here is my take on why I prefer vinyl over other formats.
- Math has its place in music, but reproduction isn't it. What I mean is that musical composition is governed by math. The time signature of the piece, the frequency in which we tune our instruments. The combination of notes with compatible frequencies establishes sub-harmonics that can only come from certain types of gear or instruments. As musicians, we try to fight compliance with such mathematical laws, and sometimes we do succeed, but not for long. Eventually, we must return to the order of things.
- Musical composition takes all of that math and can use it to make people feel things; to cry, laugh, hurt, smile.
- These compositions are then generally recorded to magnetic tape, the energy of the music manipulating the magnetic polls within the material.
- Playing back the tape energizes the circuits that pulsate the cutting lathe head, etching each vibration into the lacquer.
- After using the lacquer to generate stampers and ultimately vinyl records, a stylus moves through the grooves, essentially, a rock grabbing onto the edges of plastic that would seem to be nothing but chaos. However, in the end, it reproduces the magic that the artists have conjured in perfect, life-like detail...
...human, tactile, brilliant.
Math does NOT work nearly as well in reproducing the compositions, taking all of those nuances and details and then attempting to distill them down to become either a zero or a one. I'm not talking about hi-res audio in this case, but cheap/free streaming that vinyl generally must compete with as the established format by its critics.
As you proceed to pay the 'digital tax' of convenience and affordability, there are less zeros and ones, file sizes dwindle, and you're left with a melody that you get to hum along to at your local market while buying ham at the deli.
That is why I choose vinyl over digital...
- I am human
- I want to enjoy life
- I want to eat a ham sandwich while listening to the best medium in existence, period. But I'm not barbaric; I promise I will wash my hands first before changing sides.
Andrew Hoffman, Owner/Founder